If you’re still watching Doctor Who after last week’s episode, well done: tonight your loyalty will have been rewarded. “Village of the Angels” is a high point in a so-far tepid, and often chaotic, series. In its most focused moments, it has the feel of a classic standalone Who story, with Jodie Whittaker’s energetic performance chivvying the plot along. Speaking of plot: the doctor is not exactly on top of things at the moment. As first prophesied by David Tennant’s Doctor in the famous 2007 episode “Blink”, the dreaded angels have the Tardis.
The Doctor, Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) are spat out in the sleepy English village of Hedderton. It’s 1967 and Claire Brown (Annabel Scholey), who the Doctor and Yaz ran into three episodes ago in modern day Liverpool, has been living there for two years. She has no recollection of them, yet has been scrawling sketches of the Tardis and Weeping Angels on paper, with the stone supervillains trapping the Doctor and herself inside. In a stunning shot, we discover why, as Claire looks in the bathroom mirror and stone wings sprout from her back. She, too, is an angel.
After the mess of last week, “Village of the Angels” would be a tempting high to end on. But Flux being Flux, that was never going to happen. There are so many loose ends to tie up. The Doctor’s adventures are intercut with Bel’s escapades, the softly spoken yet defiant Thaddea Graham a stand-out within the cast. Her adventures on Pozanda also reveal a few clues about the evil Azure’s (Rochenda Sandall) plans. Azure had promised to rescue the desolate planet’s inhabitants, but as soon as she gets the chance, traps them in a living prison called The Passenger, which is every bit as ominous as it sounds.
“Village of the Angels” ends with a Marvel-esque mid-credit sequence, in which long lost life-partners Bel and Vinder (Jacob Anderson) continue their quests to find each other. It’s a sweet moment – and interesting to see Doctor Who play with episode structure – but reminds us that after the (relative) simplicity of this episode, the series could very well slip back into chaos and leave us scratching our heads once more next Sunday night.